Joe Maddon should consider bringing aboard former Angel Jack Howell as bench coach

1990: Third baseman Jack Howell #16 of the California Angels on the field during a game of the 1990 MLB season. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
1990: Third baseman Jack Howell #16 of the California Angels on the field during a game of the 1990 MLB season. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

With the hiring of Mickey Callaway as pitching coach, Angel manager Joe Maddon only has one spot left on his coaching staff and it is an important one: bench coach.

Joe Maddon better than anyone knows the bench coach role is important as they are the right-hand man of the manager and sometimes even a manager-in-waiting.  A bench coach is usually someone the manager can trust.

With this being said there is one very good candidate that probably no one is thinking about that would be perfect for this position on Maddon’s staff for many reason.  His name is Jack Howell and he is currently the manager for the Angels Low Single-A club, the Burlington Bees.  Howell played for the Angels from 1985 to 1991 when Maddon was coaching.  They always had a good relationship during that time.

Howell then went and played three seasons in Japan which would help some with Shohei Ohtani.  In addition Howell came back as a veteran a few years later in 1995 and 1996 and became a mentor to some of the Angels young nucleus that would be the foundation of the 2002 Championship team including Darin Erstad, Garret Anderson, and Tim Salmon.

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Recently Howell has been working in the Angels minor league system.  First he was the minor league field coordinator.  Later in 2018 Howell became the manager for Burlington which he has held for two seasons. During that time Howell has managed many of the Angels top prospects including Brandon Marsh, Jo Adell, and Jordyn Adams.

I have watched Jack Howell in action working with the young players at Burlington and he has gained their trust and respect which is not always easy with young athletes ages 18-22 years old. Multiple players who I have spoken to including Adell, Marsh, and Adams all thought very highly of Howell and say that he helped them tremendously while they were in Burlington.

With Howell’s wealth of experience in both the major leagues as well as the minor leagues and his mentality would mesh well with that of Maddon’s.  Howell’s knowledge coupled with is coaching experience makes him a good candidate for the job.  Not to mention that Howell and Maddon could almost pass for twins with the exception of Maddon’s goatee.  Howell’s way with the younger prospects believe would translate into developing a good rapport with the Angel players as well.

Sometimes thinking outside the box can be beneficial and Jack Howell is not someone that most people would be looking at for this role, but I think he would be a great piece to add to Maddon’s staff and would complement him well.  I would love to see Darin Erstad or Garret Anderson come back to the fold, but their lack of major/minor league coaching experience might hurt them a little bit.

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So Joe/Billy if your listening take a look at Jack Howell you will be glad you did.  Hire him it will make Maddon’s staff complete.